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Study & Teaching

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  1. 4.9 hrs • 1/1/2013

    An esteemed professor of biology at Wheaton College, John Kricher leads a fascinating discussion of the approximately ten thousand species of birds that share our world. In these engaging lectures, Kricher expands on such topics as bird anatomy, the mechanics of flight, migration, reproduction, and song. The professor’s lively presentation demonstrates how understanding the traits, life cycle, and evolution of birds is critical for an understanding of the origins and evolution of life on earth—and why conservation plays a vital role in the environment’s delicate balance.

    Available Formats: Download
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  2. 11.3 hrs • 3/1/2011 • Unabridged

    That Monday afternoon, in high school gyms across America, kids were battling for the only glory American culture seems to want to dispense to the young these days: sports glory. But at Dos Pueblos High School in Goleta, California, in a gear-cluttered classroom, a different type of “cool” was brewing. A physics teacher with a dream, the first public high-school teacher ever to win a MacArthur Genius Award, had rounded up a band of high IQ students who wanted to put their technical know-how to work. If you asked these brainiacs what the stakes were that first week of their project, they’d have told you it was all about winning a robotics competition, building the ultimate robot and prevailing in a machine-to-machine contest in front of twenty-five thousand screaming fans at Atlanta’s Georgia Dome. But for their mentor, Amir Abo-Shaeer, much more hung in the balance. The fact was, Amir had in mind a different vision for education, one based not on rote learning, on absorbing facts and figures, but on active creation. In his mind’s eye, he saw an even more robust academy within Dos Pueblos that would make science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)coolagain, and he knew he was poised on the edge of making that dream a reality. All he needed to get the necessary funding was one flashy win, a triumph that would firmly put his Engineering Academy at Dos Pueblos on the map. He imagined that one day there would be a nation filledwith such academies, and a new popular veneration for STEM, a “new cool” that would return America to its former innovative glory. It was a dream shared by Dean Kamen, a modern-day inventing wizard, often-called “the Edison of his time,” who’d concocted the very same FIRST Robotics Competition that had lured the kids at Dos Pueblos. Kamen had created FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) nearly twenty years prior. And now, with a participant alumni base approaching a million strong, he felt that awareness was about to hit critical mass. But before the Dos Pueblos D’Penguineers could do their part in bringing a new cool to America, they’d have to vanquish an intimidating lineup of “super-teams,” high school technology goliaths that hailed from engineering hot spots such as Silicon Valley, Massachusetts’ Route 128 technology corridor, and Michigan’s auto-design belt. Some of these teams were so good that winning wasn’t just hoped for every year, it was expected. In The New Cool, Neal Bascomb manages to make even those who know little about, or are vaguely suspicious of, technology care passionately about a team of kids questing after a different kind of glory. In these kids’ heartaches and headaches, and yes, high-five triumphs, we glimpse the path not just to a new way of educating our youth but of honoring the crucial skills a society needs to prosper. A new cool.

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    The New Cool

    11.3 hrs • 3/1/11 • Unabridged
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